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By ESPN Staff

Bellamy keen to prove himself after injury hell

Craig Bellamy is desperate for a long run of matches now to prove his commitment to Wales and West Ham.

The 29 year-old striker is finally back in the Wales squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Liechtenstein and Germany on Saturday and next Wednesday respectively, and is also keen to give the Hammers a boost with his return.

He has had three short spells as a substitute this season for the east Londoners after a year of groin, stomach and hamstring problems.

And now he believes he is ready for action, starting against Liechtenstein in Cardiff.

He said: "At the moment my recovery is going well. Speed is an important part of my game, so I have to be careful in many ways. Explosiveness off the mark is where you feel it, so that's why it has taken longer than usual to come back.

"I am looking for a good run of games now. This last year is the hardest I have ever worked.

"I have really dedicated myself to putting the injury behind me. I have put so much hard work into trying to improve myself and look after myself. It's really important.

"I'm a big believer in being a good professional and hopefully that will come out in the next couple of days. My lifestyle is as professional as it can be to be honest. I have a wife and kids now.''

Bellamy continued: "I have just signed a deal last year at West Ham and want to give as much as I can back to the club. To miss a whole year has been really difficult for me but hopefully I can make up for lost time.

"I'm very close to being ready to play 90 minutes. I could have been ready for Bolton but the team have been playing so well that I just couldn't get in, but I'll bide my time and wait for my opportunity.

"We don't know what the team will be on Saturday but I'm ready to start if given the chance.

"I'm sure in training I've shown what I can do and what I can offer. Training is important for me. It's all about showing people I'm back to the level I can be and people expect me to be.

"It's essential that we win on Saturday. Then getting a point against Germany would be a bonus point.

"This time last year the boys went there and got a good result so hopefully we can cause another upset. They are an outstanding side and we'll be trying our best.''

Wales have lost Joe Ledley, Freddy Eastwood, Brian Stock and Robert Earnshaw to injury, and have added Wrexham defender Steve Evans to the squad.

They have also called up Wrexham brothers Mike and Marc Williams for the Under-21s, and that gives the Blue Square Premier league a problem.

If Wrexham had still been in the Football League, having three players on international duty would have meant Saturday's match would have been postponed.

But the non-league outfit do not have such rules, and their management committee will have to decide whether Wrexham's home game with Histon goes ahead on Saturday.

If it is postponed, it means that new Wrexham boss Dean Saunders - also Wales' coach - will not have to miss an important game with his new club.


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